“I literally have to remind myself all the time, that being afraid of things going wrong isn’t the way to make things go right.” In fact, being afraid of things going wrong is a sure fire way for them to go wrong. As I have said many times throughout my blog: the fear of pain is worse than the pain itself. If you have any invisible illness you know exactly what I am talking about. For example, throughout my journey with chronic pain I always project how my pain level will be when an upcoming event is approaching. It could be something as small as a friend coming over to something big like a family reunion. I have lived so much of my life in fear that it is literally all I know. Since my search for a cure for chronic pain I have improved in how I think about the future related to chronic pain. If we are scared that our pain levels are going to be high, guess what they are most likely going to be high. We create so much of our future by our thoughts and fears. Worse, being afraid of pain levels in the future will probably ruin the present moment. The more we think about pain, the higher our pain will be: present and future.
This does not just apply to chronic pain. One of the worst things we do as humans is spend our time in fear of what could go wrong in the future. One of my biggest fears is that I will never get pregnant again. This is one of the most irrational fears I have ever had but the more I focus on this fear the more this fear is coming true. Our fears literally shape our reality. So what do we do?
We literally have to remind ourselves that being afraid of things going wrong is the not the way to make things go right. Every time fear starts to creep up in my brain (which is quite frequently) I try as hard as possible to distract myself and focus on the present moment. I have to use the same methods I do with my chronic pain management: distraction and gratitude. Everything I write about is much easier said then done and I know that but we all truly need to focus so much more of our energy on the present moment. I know it is a very cliché saying but it is very true: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why we call it the present.